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Book Review: Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good

Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good was a great follow-up to Chaos Rising. We continue to learn about the Ascendancy, and get a lot more insight into Chiss family politics. I really liked the plot and how things slowly, slowly build up until everything comes together for a really interesting and unique battle. I really liked the political plotlines and the story told through the "memories" flashback sections of the books. It continues the interesting stories from the first book while bringing up its own things as well.

Spoilers ahead for Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good by Timothy Zahn.

I could go on about this book for a while, so I'll just talk about my a few of my particular favorite things from it.

One of the stories in this book has Thrawn trying to save an alien race. Their planet was torn apart by a brutal civil war and a group of survivors are ready to end their lives to join the "Beyond" or the Force because they feel there is no hope. Thrawn is dedicated to protecting their lives, even bending the rules of the Ascendancy to do so, much to the chagrin of some of the other Chiss warriors on his ship. It shows a kind side of his character where he goes out of his way to protect lives, even when they're not the ones that he's responsible for.

Another thing that really interested me with this book was the"Memories" plotline. The previous book had one too, primarily going through the past of Thrawn and Ara'lani, but in this one the "Memories" sections mostly had to do with a young Chiss couple and their journey with the Agbui, a race that can feel people's emotions by touching them. The Agbui are working for the mysterious Jixtus in an attempt to try and take down the Ascendancy. They are trying to gather information. We see them in the main storyline, settling near a Chiss ranch and being pretty suspiciously kind, and in these "Memories" they are ferrying a Chiss couple around, balancing trying to take them to see a bird migration with getting to their own rendezvous point on time. I found myself really liking the Chiss couple, and the secret murder they commit against the young woman when she finds them out. It was a really tense, well-written scene and I really liked these portions of the book.

Finally, I loved getting to see Che'ri and Thalias again. They were my favorite characters from the first book, and seeing how both of them- especially Che'ri- have matured since the first book. At the end of the book, there's a really interesting battle where Thrawn is faking being attacked so that a group of Chiss families who are about to go to war over a fake mine team up together to save him. In the process, they have to destroy the mine so that the families stop fighting over it, but make it look like an accident. They remotely control a freighter they captured to crash into it and blow it up, and Che'ri helps to guide it so that analysts won't be able to tell that their ship is using a tractor beam to guide it. It's a really cool battle, and Che'ri confidently playing her role in it was really fun to see.

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